United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Brazil and Nicaragua

10th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
31 March - 04 April, 2014
Cluster 1: Poverty eradication and Promoting equality
Statement by Nicaragua and Brazil
Mr. Co-Chair,
Brazil and Nicaragua support the statement by Bolivia on behalf the G-77 and
The Rio+20 Conference recognized that poverty eradication is the greatest global
challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable
development. In fact, the Rio outcome document can be seen as a watershed
between development viewed essentially as a consequence of economic growth
(with so called trickle-down effects providing the poverty eradication element) and
sustainable development as a product of a combination of economic, social and
environmental elements. In this context, it is understood that economic growth in
and of itself will not lead to poverty eradication, equality, inclusiveness,
Brazil, Latin America, many other parts of the developing world provide eloquent
examples of the failure of policies centered on economic growth alone in reducing
poverty. The so-called 'lost decades" in Latin America are primarily the result of
such misguided and ultimately ideological approaches that privileged economic
growth over other factors.
The evidence-based approach points in another direction: in the absence of social
program, government incentives and public policies that contribute to correct
market distortions the most likely outcome will be concentration of wealth and
persisting poverty with deepening inequality. The evidence in Brazil, Latin
America and beyond leads us to the conclusion that poverty eradication is not a
necessary or even probable outcome of economic growth in and of itself. Hence
the paradigm shift which Rio+20 embodies, away from the so called "Washington
consensus" - and its now better understood shortcomings - and in favor of policies
which promote greater equality and social inclusiveness.
Nicaragua and Brazil welcome the multi-dimensional approach proposed by the
co-chairs to tackle the issue of poverty, reflecting the cross-cutting nature of the
challenges involved. Proposed focus area 1 concentrates on the essential aspects.
Notwithstanding our support to this basic structure, to be maintained for the time
being, we have some considerations on items proposed in focus area 1.
Item "a" should clearly state that extreme poverty must be eradicated from
developing countries, which is where it occurs;
Developed as well as developing countries should be the focus in item "b", on the
reduction of relative poverty;
The list of vulnerable groups on item "c" (social protection floors) should also
include women, which is the largest marginalized group of the planet;
Item "f", on inclusive economic growth, is closely related to poverty eradication,
but it would be better placed under focus area 8.
Item "g" (developing evidence-based data) should be moved to the focus area on
means of implementation, as it is relevant for all areas; not just poverty
eradication. It will provide technical support for the political narrative that will
follow up on the SDG's implementation.
Item "h", on means of implementation, needs to reinforce the central role of
Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the fight against poverty. Eradicating
extreme poverty in developing countries is a moral obligation of the international
Mr. Co-chair,
Regarding area 12, we welcome the distinction between inequalities within
countries and inequality among countries. Those are two very different aspects
that require equally distinct types of actions.
Studies made by different UN agencies show that the Gini Coefficient gap among
countries is higher than the gap at the domestic level within almost every single
country. In other words, States are more unequal at the international level than
they are at the national level. For this reason, the greatest determinant of a person's
social standing in life, or lack thereof, still is, today, the country birth; much more
so than the social position of their families in their countries of origin. If we want
to be universal in our aspirations and effective in reducing inequality among
human beings such asymmetry and their root causes need to be addressed.
Therefore, while we welcome the items on inequality within countries, we
consider that the subsection dedicated to tackling inequalities among nations lacks
sufficient focus and attention. This will need correction in a follow-up revised text.
Item "c" needs to be more specific so that we know we are making a reference to
"ending subsidies in developed countries that distort international trade,
particularly agricultural export subsidies and equivalent measures, by 2020";
Due to its systemic nature and relevance, Reforming International Financing
Institutions should be addressed under a new item. North-South Asymmetries in
the governing bodies of the IFIs is anti-democratic and detrimental to developing
countries. They deny the universality and equity of our actions at the international
Creating a development-friendly environment is key. The asymmetries of
globalization require constant adjustments at the national level in developing
countries for their economies to better integrate with an unstable, changing and
crisis prone international financial and economic system, and to better exploit
opportunities from an increasingly corporate controlled flow of trade and
investments. Protecting "policy space" at the national level for developing
countries is key to strengthening their institutional capacities to address their
unique needs and circumstances in the pursuit of sustainable development.
"Policy space" should be firmly rooted in the principle of Common but
Differentiated Responsibilities as a measurable target.
I thank you, Mr. Co-chair.